At each club meeting, members give reports of interesting sightings that they’ve had over the previous month. At our recent meeting, Carol spoke about the sighting for the magpie geese at Lake Wendouree. See previous post for a photo.
Apparently this is the first sighting since the 1890’s and while reports indicate that there were 12 goslings, the number decreased over subsequent days. There was discussion as to whether this might be due to the rakali (native water rat) having a snack or a swamp harrier.
Another field report of note was the finding of a feathertail glider at Scarsdale by Bill. These tiny animals are the smallest of our possums that glide. While still relatively common they not often seen and this one was dead, so provided an opportunity for detailed examination. They are active at night and eat insects, nectar, honeydew and pollen and rely on tree hollows for nest sites.
At our annual general meeting on Friday night our club president John Gregurke, awarded a life membership to Bill Murphy. The club in its 65th year has only awarded 10 life memberships and the last one was many years ago to Mary White.
Bill Murphy with his award
Bill has been a member for 50 years and this in itself a marvelous achievement. He and his wife Pat, joined the club not long after attending their first meeting in 1968. They were invited to attend a meeting by Stella Bedggood, who thought they might be interested in coming along to hear the guest speaker, who turned out to be none other than Jim Willis.
From that time on they were hooked and actively participated in many of the club functions including field trips, campouts and working bees. Bill was president of the club in 1972, 73 and 75 and when he retired from work in the late 1980’s he was able to join Pat on many forays into the bush. Continue reading
This photo of Magpie Geese with goslings was captured by one of our members, Carol. According to Roger Thomas this sighting is an historic one for the lake
There were still a few Hyacinth Orchids out at in the Enfield Forest on Tuesday, but not much else flowering. These orchids are tall up to 90-100cm with numerous pink flowers on a stem and are usually leafless. Dipodium pardalinum, Spotted Hyacinth Orchid, has spots on the sepals and labellum and Dipodium roseum, Rosy Hyacinth Orchid has spots but a striped labellum. Thanks to Emily for the identification tip.
Dipodium pardalinum Spotted Hyacinth Orchid
Dipodium roseum Rosy Hyacinth Orchid
Dipodium pardalinum, Spotted Hyacinth Orchid
bushland near the water tanks at Little Hard Hills
Dipodium roseum Rosy Hyacinth Orchid
Excursion to Chepstowe, Snake Valley and Linton areas
Led by John and Elaine Gregurke . 5 November 2017.
By the time we reached Chepstowe the weather was warming and at lunch we sat in calm sunshine at Mag Dam Rec Reserve in Snake Valley. The wildflowers at places visited were magnificent. Our outing ended at the Memorial for the 5 fire fighters tragically killed in the 1998 bushfire near Linton – a very moving visit. Fourteen field naturalists attended the field-trip including Tony from Bendigo club.
Neville Oddie (land owner) chats with club members, with wind farm and turbines behind.
Mr Neville Oddie (OAM and long time conservationist and Aboriginal rights activist) welcomed us and then us showed just some of the many aspects of the property that reveal his exceptional knowledge and dedication to nature conservation issues. Continue reading
The Melton Botanic Gardens have been officially opened since the Ballarat Field Naturalists last visited and another section of path has also been opened to the public. It now possible to do a loop walk across into an area that is yet to be developed. The path goes close to the freeway and is very noisy but gives a different perspective to the gardens.
Plaque commemorating the opening
new pedestrian bridge
cumbungi growing along the creek
There is still plenty to see at Lal Lal Falls Reserve if you decide you want a walk. There is no water going over the falls but still some in pools in the creek. The kangaroo grass is looking great and gives a light orange tinge. Some patches of native grass have been left un-mown in the public area which I like to see. The Hairy Anchor Plant has already dropped its seed and looks healthy despite its dry position on the bank. The clustered everlastings add a bright colour to the slopes and the scenery is still spectacular.
Hairy Anchor Plant
Dry Lal Lal Falls
Lal Lal Creek
Enfield Forest is a favourite haunch of Ballarat Field Nats and on a visit last week to the Berringa – Misery Creek Road, we found 9 orchids. Here are 2 photos taken by Bill.
Chiloglottis valida Bird Orchid
Caladenia parva Spider Orchid
There are so many beautiful places to visit at the moment and we are spoilt for choice. Here are 3 photos from Bill, taken yesterday.
Pterostylis sp. aff. plumosa 3 (Anglesea)
And a few more from his companions.
Chamaescilla corymbosa var. corymbosa